Exotic vegetables’ prices skyrocket

Anvita Srivastava
Saturday, 17 August 2019

“The local produce which comes from places like Chakan, Talegaon and Nashik to the city is of inferior quality and also very less in quantity. There is an infestation of worms on the produce. Due to recent floods and rain, there is also the problem of transportation as many roads are closed,” Shetty added.

PUNE: If you are planning to order an Italian salad or a risotto, it will have less broccoli, bell pepper and zucchini in it as the prices of exotic vegetables have touched sky high in the last month.

Hoteliers and restaurants owners are facing problems as the prices of exotic vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, lettuce, zucchini, asparagus, etc, have gone up by 200 per cent. 

This is due to the low supply of the vegetables as a lot of farms have been affected by the rains and also due to increasing infestation of caterpillars, viral and bacterial attacks on the produce during monsoon. 

Pune Restaurant and Hoteliers Association (PRAHA) President Ganesh Shetty said, “The wholesale price of bell peppers has increased from Rs 70 to Rs 170 per kg, while broccoli has increased from Rs 95 to Rs 450 per kg. It has been a month that the prices of other exotic vegetables such as red cabbage, zucchini, Chinese cabbage, asparagus have gone up by 200 per cent as earlier they were around Rs 60 to Rs 70 per kg but now are around Rs 180 per kg.”

“The local produce which comes from places like Chakan, Talegaon and Nashik to the city is of inferior quality and also very less in quantity. There is an infestation of worms on the produce. Due to recent floods and rain, there is also the problem of transportation as many roads are closed,” Shetty added. 

Shetty also mentioned that due to ongoing Shravan month, vegetarian dishes are high in demand further accelerating the prices.

“The exotic vegetables are generally grown either in open land or in a polyhouse. Open land usually gets destroyed during monsoon and this year due to excessive rainfall, almost a half-acre of my bell pepper produce was destroyed. Currently, the prices of bell pepper are around Rs 170 but there is no ready bell pepper in my farm,” said Swati Shingade from Baramati, who owns an organic farm of exotic vegetables. She said, “During this weather, there is also an increasing infestation of catterpillars which damage the produce. This year, summers were also very hot so a lot of produce got destroyed due to that. This will continue for a month at least and the situation of supply will improve by October once the monsoon settles down,” she added. 

“The vegetables grown outside in open are worst affected due to rain as there is a lot of water logging resulting in bacterial infestation. Only the greenhouse produce is safe,” said Green Tokri, Co-Founder Benedikte Cremer.

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